Tabulator from Tim Berners-Lee

John Musser, July 28th, 2006

TabulatorFather of the web Tim Berners-Lee is working on a new project called Tabulator: “the generic data browser which lets you do useful things with your RDF data the moment it’s on the web.” In his post this week Slicing and dicing web data with Tabulator he includes some screen shots including data browsing and an auto-generated Google Maps mashup. It can essentially get you code-free mashups.

It works by exploring the web of relationship between things, loading more data from the web as you go. Then, if you find a pattern of information you are interested in, it will search for all occurrences of that pattern and display them in tables, maps, calendars, and so on.

Think of all the different mash-ups people have made for putting things like friends houses, photos, or coffee shops on the web. Each a different mash-up for a different data source.

For data in RDF (or any XML with a GRDDL profile), though, then you don’t have to program anything. You can just explore it and map it. And you can map many different data sources at the same time.

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3 Responses to “Tabulator from Tim Berners-Lee”

July 28th, 2006
at 3:57 am
Comment by: Danny

Great to see this material getting some exposure in the heart of Web 2.0 land!

You might also want to check out Henry Story’s post on Tabulator. As Master Foo described, the key part of mashups is the data integration, and RDF is designed for data integration on the Web.

Don’t know if you saw it, but the SparqlCalendarDemo is another mashup-ish demo, using RDF and its SPARQL query language.

July 28th, 2006
at 2:59 pm
Comment by: John Musser

Danny — thanks for the good links. The Sparql calendar demo is indeed very interesting.

July 30th, 2006
at 6:42 am
Comment by: Henry Story

I have now written a longer article on RDF and Metcalf’s law that goes into more details as to why the combineablilty of data makes it so much more valuable.

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John Musser
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Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.